Wednesday, February 10, 2010


"A man of too many friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24

Occasionally I look to see who is visiting this blog. I can only see those little red dots on the map (bottom, left). From the appearance of the map there are 'visitors' from all over the world. But most of these are actually not friends of mine. I suspect many of them are spammers, based on a few of the comments they try to sneak by me.

I also have a facebook profile. At last count I had 546 "friends." It makes me laugh. There are at least 30 on that list who are merely cyber acquaintances, friends of friends or some other very loose connection. Yet, they stay on the list. Perhaps the verse from Proverbs 18 should give me a hint that I have too many friends.

The Lord has blessed me with a number of very good friends. A few of them I communicate with regularly via email or telephone. Some I visit with in person and we talk long over hot coffee. It is a great encouragement to have those who pray for you often, offer godly counsel and words of encouragement. Friends will be honest with you and are willing to talk about the important issues of life. I know some of my friends stop by here 'Under the Steeple' and peruse my ramblings. I think of you at times when I am typing along, sharing my heart.

I know that some frown on the idea of calling Jesus our friend. That sort of talk, they say, weakens him. It brings him down to a trivial level and detracts from his atoning work as the God-man. However, I believe that my Savior, my Substitute, my Intercessor is also my dear Friend. He knows me like no other and in spite of it all, he still remains a faithful and trusted Friend. Certainly a bit different than the kid from my junior high days, but a friend nonetheless.

I hope this post will encourage you to reach out to a few old friends. Make an effort to reconnect with them, pray for them. Maybe you need to reach out so that you can share the gospel with them. Also, I want to challenge you to go deeper with those who are your trusted friends. Allow them into your life, to sharpen you and hold you accountable. And visit often with that one friend, who is closer than a brother.

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